Ancient Monuments

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Hut circles and a length of enclosure wall, forming part of a stone hut circle settlement 600m east of Nodden Gate

A Scheduled Monument in Bridestowe, Devon

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Latitude: 50.6579 / 50°39'28"N

Longitude: -4.0726 / 4°4'21"W

OS Eastings: 253594.181082

OS Northings: 86298.759482

OS Grid: SX535862

Mapcode National: GBR NZ.7XBZ

Mapcode Global: FRA 27CB.F6D

Entry Name: Hut circles and a length of enclosure wall, forming part of a stone hut circle settlement 600m east of Nodden Gate

Scheduled Date: 27 June 1963

Last Amended: 11 July 1994

Source: Historic England

Source ID: 1008638

English Heritage Legacy ID: 24075

County: Devon

Civil Parish: Bridestowe

Traditional County: Devon

Lieutenancy Area (Ceremonial County): Devon


This monument includes 15 stone hut circles, a length of enclosure wall, a
parish boundary stone and stone-splitting pits forming the largest part of a
settlement situated on the west facing slope of Arms Tor overlooking the
valley of the River Lyd.
The six northern stone hut circles are linked together by a 1.7m wide and 0.4m
high curved enclosure boundary wall which defines the northern and western
sides of an enclosure, whilst the southern and eastern parts were either never
completed or survive as a buried feature. This boundary wall is later than the
huts which it links and provides important evidence of development within the
All the stone hut circles within the monument survive as stone and earth banks
surrounding a circular internal area. The internal diameters of these
huts vary between 4.2m and 6.3m with the average being 5.61m. The height of
the surrounding walls varies between 0.3m and 1.35m with the average being
0.7m. Six of the huts are linked to the enclosure boundary wall, one has a
visible doorway, two include more than a single room and one has a partition.
Two features of post-medieval date are included within this monument. The
first is a roughly dressed granite pillar, measuring 1.5m high by 0.6m wide
and 0.4m thick. This stone denotes the boundary between the commons shared by
Bridestowe and Sourton and the parish of Lydford. The second feature includes
a large number of stone-splitting pits which vary in size, but average 2.5m in
diameter and 0.4m deep. These pits were produced during the search for, and
limited quarrying of, surface stone.

The site of the monument is shown on the attached map extract.
It includes a 2 metre boundary around the archaeological features,
considered to be essential for the monument's support and preservation.

Source: Historic England

Reasons for Scheduling

Dartmoor is the largest expanse of open moorland in southern Britain and,
because of exceptional conditions of preservation, it is also one of the most
complete examples of an upland relict landscape in the whole country. The
great wealth and diversity of archaeological remains provide direct evidence
for human exploitation of the Moor from the early prehistoric period onwards.
The well-preserved and often visible relationship between settlement sites,
major land boundaries, trackways, ceremonial and funerary monuments as well as
later industrial remains, gives significant insights into successive changes
in the pattern of land use through time. Stone hut circles and hut settlements
were the dwelling places of prehistoric farmers on Dartmoor. They mostly date
from the Bronze Age, with the earliest examples on the Moor in this building
tradition dating to about 1700 BC. The stone-based round houses consist of low
walls or banks enclosing a circular floor area; remains of the turf or thatch
roof are not preserved. The huts may occur singly or in small or large groups
and may lie in the open or be enclosed by a bank of earth and stone. Although
they are common on the Moor, their longevity and their relationship with other
monument types provide important information on the diversity of social
organisation and farming practices amongst prehistoric communities. They are
particularly representative of their period and a substantial proportion of
surviving examples are considered worthy of protection.

The stone hut circle settlement 600m east of Nodden Gate survives
comparatively well and contains archaeological remains and environmental
evidence relating to the monument, the economy of its inhabitants and the
landscape in which they lived. As such, it provides a valuable insight into
the nature of Bronze Age occupation on the west side of the Moor. The
multi-phase character of the settlement will provide valuable information
concerning the changing domestic and agricultural requirements of an upland
Bronze Age society.

Source: Historic England


Books and journals
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 224
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 151
Butler, J, Dartmoor Atlas of Antiquities, (1991), 151
Devon County Sites and Monuments Register, SX58NW9,
Gibson, A, Single Monument Class Description - Stone Hut Circles, (1988)
MPP fieldwork by S. Gerrard,
Title: Ordnance Survey 1:10000 sheet SX 58 NW
Source Date: 1981

Source: Historic England

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